EVERY TIME we get a look at the details of EU-US trade deal TTIP and its implications we come away disgusted. The Morning Star pulls no punches when it comes to defending the interests of the people.
Unelected, unaccountable EU bureaucrats are desperate to keep the inner workings of the treaty under wraps for the simple reason that it will be bad for everyone except big business.
That the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has only commissioned a single risk assessment of TTIP — and only one part of it, three years ago — suggests that officials don’t want to leave a record spelling out the truths that they deny so vigorously in public.
The LSE study of TTIP’s investment chapter is stark. It will not benefit Britain economically or politically, the authors find, but carries a “meaningful risk” that US firms will sue the British government in newly created corporate courts.
Britain’s experience under TTIP “is likely to be very similar” to that of Canada under the Nafta deal with the US and Mexico.
It notes “the breadth of Canadian government actions that US investors have challenged: electricity regulation; changes in tax laws; the revocation or denial of various licences; export bans on hazardous materials; healthcare regulations; patent decisions; and more.”

Let’s not forget that the EU is stitching up a similar trade deal with Canada (Ceta), which is more finished than TTIP — and yet officials haven’t even commissioned one study of its implications.
It should be noted that the LSE researchers seem to largely share the outlook of those pushing the treaty, suggesting that the government try to ditch the investor “protection” parts “and solely focus on investment liberalisation.”
But TTIP’s corporate courts are not the only reason to oppose it.
As with all other “free trade” deals, it contains provisions to wrench open our public services to privateers, and accelerate a race to the bottom on regulations covering everything from workers’ rights and banking rules to the environment and privacy.
It will give companies the freedom to shift their operations to wherever costs — wages, taxes, social and environmental protections — are lowest.
Alongside notorious “export processing zones,” a stark example is provided by Nafta. Effectively overnight, firms shut down their manufacturing operations in the United States — dumping skilled, well-paid workers on the dole — and reopened them just over the border in Mexico, where they could pay pennies and not worry about even the US’s weak workplace protections.
Such treaties are not about benignly “removing barriers to trade” — pesky things like workers’ rights and limits on the power of capital — but furthering corporate control over our society.
They are tools for doing at a stroke things which would be hard to push through national parliaments. In their content and even their construction they embody the neoliberal dogma that democratic control is redundant and that the market should decide.
It is exactly the attitude of the European Union, with directives drafted behind closed doors by officials totally, and deliberately, isolated from the public but very much responsive to economic interests.
As with TTIP, EU directives call for further liberalisation of — corporate access to — every part of our societies, to achieve the “four freedoms” most desired by business — the free movement of capital, goods, services and labour.
We must organise to take back control of our society, putting people before profit, putting real democracy at the heart of our country.
We must confront the idea that the market knows best at every turn: at Westminster, Holyrood and Cardiff; in Brussels; and — as tens of thousands did in Germany this weekend — on the streets.
EVERY TIME we get a look at the details of EU-US trade deal TTIP and its implications we come away disgusted.
Unelected, unaccountable EU bureaucrats are desperate to keep the inner workings of the treaty under wraps for the simple reason that it will be bad for everyone except big business.
That the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has only commissioned a single risk assessment of TTIP — and only one part of it, three years ago — suggests that officials don’t want to leave a record spelling out the truths that they deny so vigorously in public.
The LSE study of TTIP’s investment chapter is stark. It will not benefit Britain economically or politically, the authors find, but carries a “meaningful risk” that US firms will sue the British government in newly created corporate courts.
Britain’s experience under TTIP “is likely to be very similar” to that of Canada under the Nafta deal with the US and Mexico.
It notes “the breadth of Canadian government actions that US investors have challenged: electricity regulation; changes in tax laws; the revocation or denial of various licences; export bans on hazardous materials; healthcare regulations; patent decisions; and more.”
Let’s not forget that the EU is stitching up a similar trade deal with Canada (Ceta), which is more finished than TTIP — and yet officials haven’t even commissioned one study of its implications.
It should be noted that the LSE researchers seem to largely share the outlook of those pushing the treaty, suggesting that the government try to ditch the investor “protection” parts “and solely focus on investment liberalisation.”
But TTIP’s corporate courts are not the only reason to oppose it.
As with all other “free trade” deals, it contains provisions to wrench open our public services to privateers, and accelerate a race to the bottom on regulations covering everything from workers’ rights and banking rules to the environment and privacy.
It will give companies the freedom to shift their operations to wherever costs — wages, taxes, social and environmental protections — are lowest.
Alongside notorious “export processing zones,” a stark example is provided by Nafta. Effectively overnight, firms shut down their manufacturing operations in the United States — dumping skilled, well-paid workers on the dole — and reopened them just over the border in Mexico, where they could pay pennies and not worry about even the US’s weak workplace protections.
Such treaties are not about benignly “removing barriers to trade” — pesky things like workers’ rights and limits on the power of capital — but furthering corporate control over our society.
They are tools for doing at a stroke things which would be hard to push through national parliaments. In their content and even their construction they embody the neoliberal dogma that democratic control is redundant and that the market should decide.
It is exactly the attitude of the European Union, with directives drafted behind closed doors by officials totally, and deliberately, isolated from the public but very much responsive to economic interests.
As with TTIP, EU directives call for further liberalisation of — corporate access to — every part of our societies, to achieve the “four freedoms” most desired by business — the free movement of capital, goods, services and labour.
We must organise to take back control of our society, putting people before profit, putting real democracy at the heart of our country.
We must confront the idea that the market knows best at every turn: at Westminster, Holyrood and Cardiff; in Brussels; and — as tens of thousands did in Germany this weekend — on the streets.

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